Cruz Bustamante

Cruz Bustamante
Cruz Bustamante
45th Lieutenant Governor of California
In office
January 4, 1999 – January 8, 2007
Governor Gray Davis (1999–2003)
Arnold Schwarzenegger (2003–2007)
Preceded by Gray Davis
Succeeded by John Garamendi
62nd Speaker of the
California State Assembly
In office
December 2, 1996 – February 26, 1998
Preceded by Curt Pringle
Succeeded by Antonio Villaraigosa
Personal details
Born January 4, 1953 ( 1953-01-04) (age 58)
Dinuba, California
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Arcelia
Residence Fresno, California
Alma mater California State University, Fresno
Profession Politician
Cruz Bustamante .1.2 edited-2.jpg

Cruz Miguel Bustamante (born January 4, 1953) is an American politician. He was the 45th Lieutenant Governor of California, a former Speaker of the State Assembly and a member of the Democratic Party. He served with Governors Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger and was succeeded by John Garamendi on January 8, 2007.


Early life and family

The eldest of six children, Cruz Bustamante was born in Dinuba, California. His family later moved to San Joaquin, California. He attended and graduated from Tranquillity High School in the 1970s, where he excelled in both football and wrestling, and later attended Fresno City College and California State University, Fresno.

With his wife Arcelia, Bustamante has three daughters. Nao Bustamante, Cruz's youngest sister, is an internationally known contemporary performance artist.

Political career

As a resident of Fresno, Bustamante was elected to the California State Assembly in a special election in 1993, and became the Speaker of the Assembly in 1996. He was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1998, the first Latino elected to statewide office in California in more than 120 years. He was also the highest-ranking elected Latino officeholder in the United States until Bill Richardson became Governor of New Mexico in 2003. Bustamante earned his B.A. via distance learning from the California State University, Fresno in 2003.

2003 recall election

He was the most prominent Democrat to run in the 2003 California recall election to remove Governor Gray Davis, and placed second to Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, with about 2.7 million votes, 31.5% of votes cast (see full election results).

Bustamante had an apparently icy relationship with Governor Davis, a fellow Democrat, during his tenure. They reportedly had not talked in months before the recall election approached. Bustamante's decision to run in the recall election was controversial, as many supporters of Governor Davis had urged prominent Democrats not to run, in an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of the event. During the recall election, Bustamante ran on a platform slogan of "No on Recall, Yes on Bustamante,"[1][2] indicating he opposed the recall.

2006 Insurance Commissioner election

Bustamante was the Democratic candidate for California Insurance Commissioner.

In Bustamante's official candidate statement, he says "I want to become an example to others to lead healthier lives by losing weight myself. Obesity in California costs $7.7 billion a year."

Bustamante claims to have recently shed 43 pounds to 235 pounds by means of diet and exercise. His campaign Web site features recipes that include "Cruz's Healthy Breakfast Frittata" and also includes tips on fitness.

Bustamante easily won the June 6, 2006 Democratic primary, receiving 70.5% of the vote and defeating his challenger, John Kraft. In the June Primary Bustamante received 1,606,913 Democratic votes, Kraft 674,309 Democratic votes, and Poizner 1,472,729 Republican votes. Many political analysts believed that Kraft, who ran a low-key campaign where he took no campaign contributions, received those votes as a protest for Bustamante's behavior during the 2003 recall election.[3] However, Kraft planned to actively campaign for Bustamante, and donated a significant portion of his fortune as an heir to Kraft Foods to Bustamante.[4]

Bustamante ran against Republican Steve Poizner in November. Bustamante announced that he would not be returning insurance industry contributions to his campaign, a position criticized by Poizner and campaign ethicists. Bustamante also failed to meet a deadline to submit a campaign statement to voters. According to the Field Poll, on November 3, 2006, Bustamante trailed Poizner by 9%.[5] and actually lost to Poizner by 12% in the general election.

Electoral history

Public Offices
Office Type Location Elected Term began Term ended
State Assemblyman Legislature Sacramento 1993 May 3, 1993 December 5, 1994
State Assemblyman Legislature Sacramento 1994 December 5, 1994 December 2, 1996
Speaker of the Assembly Legislature Sacramento 1996 December 2, 1996 December 7, 1998
Lieutenant Governor Executive Sacramento 1998 January 4, 1999 January 6, 2003
Lieutenant Governor Executive Sacramento 2002 January 6, 2003 January 8, 2007
California State Assembly service
Session Majority Governor Committees District
1993–1994 Democratic Pete Wilson 31
1995–1996 Republican Pete Wilson 31
1997–1998 Democratic Pete Wilson 31
California Lieutenant Governor general election, 1998
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic Cruz Bustamante 4,290,473 52.7%
Republican Tim Leslie 3,161,031 38.8%
Green Sara Amir 247,897 3.0%
Libertarian Thomas M. Tryon 167,523 2.1%
Peace and Freedom Jamie Luis Gomez 109,888 1.4%
American Independent George M. McCoy 92,349 1.1%
Reform James G. Mangia 74,180 0.9%
Totals 8,143,341 %
Majority 1,129,442 14.9
Democratic hold
California Lieutenant Governor general election, 2002
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Cruz Bustamante 3,658,942 49.4 -3.3
Republican Bruce McPherson 3,094,392 41.8 +3.0
Green Donna Warren 307,254 4.1 +1.1
Libertarian Pat Wright 107,127 1.4 -0.7
American Independent James King 93,026 1.3 +0.2
Reform Paul Jerry Hanosh 82,053 1.1 +0.2
Natural Law Kalee Przybylak 68,366 0.9 +0.9
Total votes 7,411,160  %
Majority 564,540 7.6 -7.3
Democratic hold Swing -7.3
California recall election, 2003
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger 4,206,284 48.6%
Democratic Cruz Bustamante 2,724,874 31.5%
Republican Tom McClintock 1,161,287 13.5%
Green Peter Miguel Camejo 242,247 2.8%
California Insurance Commissioner primary election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Democratic Cruz Bustamante 1,651,858 70.4%
Democratic John Kraft 693,662 29.6%
Totals 2,345,520 %
Majority 958,196 40.8
California Insurance Commissioner general election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes Percentage
Republican Steve Poizner 4,233,986 50.8%
Democratic Cruz Bustamante 3,204,536 38.5%
Libertarian Dale Ogden 305,772 3.7%
Green Larry Cafiero 270,218 3.2%
Peace and Freedom Tom Condit 187,618 2.3%
American Independent Jay Earl Burden 127,267 1.5%
Totals 8,329,397 %
Majority 1,029,450 12.3
Republican gain from Democratic


External links

California Assembly
Preceded by
Bruce Bronzan
California State Assemblyman, 31st District
Succeeded by
Sarah Reyes
Political offices
Preceded by
Curt Pringle
Speaker of the California State Assembly
December 2, 1996 – February 26, 1998
Succeeded by
Antonio Villaraigosa
Preceded by
Gray Davis
Lieutenant Governor
of California

January 4, 1999 – January 8, 2007
Succeeded by
John Garamendi

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